“No matter how spontaneous, no matter how natural–all photographs are constructed,” says Angie Buckley, sometimes celebrity photographer and the eye behind a Hickenlooper family holiday card. As a professional photographer, Buckley works the camera for a good shot, and says you can (and should) do the same when it comes to creating a profile photo. After vetting dozens of dating-site images, she dishes for us on what works, what doesn’t, and how to fix it.

Don’ts Don’t post a dark photo; make sure you’re not standing in a dark area. Don’t be in direct, bright sunlight. Don’t be silly. Most of us are uncomfortable in front of the lens, so when a camera is pointing our way we tend to put our guard up by goofing around. Don’t hide your eyes–take off those sunglasses. Do’s Do have the photo taken outdoors or by a window. Natural light is the best source. Do look for even shade. Nothing with a pattern coming across your face. Do bend at the hip and slightly point with your chin (this prevents the chin from doubling). Do turn your head slightly, which puts your nose at an angle. Do remember to smile. It makes you more approachable.